This is a standard Biuso recipe that I make for a quick mid-week family dinner, accompanied by a salad. It will serve 4 as a main or 6 as a starter. It's also good on penette, mezze penne or gnocchi.
1 medium onion, chopped (not too finely) 2 rashers middle bacon, rind removed and finely chopped 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 250g (8½ ounces) frozen baby peas 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed 60ml (¼ cup) dry white wine 600g (1½ x 14 ounce cans) canned Italian tomatoes, mashed 1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram Salt and freshly ground black pepper 500g (about 1 pound) farfalle pasta (butterflies) Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
1 Put the onion and bacon in a saucepan with the olive oil and cook gently until lightly browned. The onion and bacon will stew a bit to begin, but this is how it should be, then the liquid will evaporate, then the onion and bacon will turn golden. Put the peas in a sieve and rinse under running hot water to wash off any ice crystals. Add garlic to the pan, stir, then add the peas. Splash with white wine, cook briefly to evaporate, then add the tomatoes and the marjoram. Season with salt and pepper.
2 Cook gently for 30 minutes, partially covered with a lid. If the sauce is too liquid after this time, continue cooking without the lid for 5-10 minutes more.
The sauce can be made a day in advance if need be; reheat gently when required.
Italian canned tomatoes in juice will give the best result. If you use insipid tomatoes (pinkish as opposed to ripe-red, with watery juices) the result may disappoint you.
Fresh and frozen peas should have plenty of vitamin C, but it just may be that frozen peas have more than fresh if they were processed immediately after picking, and the fresh ones hang around a few days in the shops. Peas have a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals including B group vitamins, vitamins A and K, folate and potassium, and fibre.